Athens has some of the most wonderful museums in Europe, and no trip would be complete without a visit to the Acropolis. You can also take several fascinating day trips, including a one-day cruise to the nearby islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina; or a bus trip and guided tour of Delphi and/or Meteora. These tours are reasonably priced and can be booked through Windmills Travel, as well as hotels throughout Greece. Details are available on our website.
Beaches on Tinos are plentiful. The water is warmest during the hot summer months, but swimming is possible as early as May and until the end of October (even later). There are no nude beaches on Tinos, but many women go topless.
Clothing is casual; shorts are permitted everywhere except in churches and monasteries; a windbreaker or light jacket is essential in spring and fall; warm clothes may be needed before May and after October; good walking shoes are recommended; don't forget your bathing suit and sunblock.
Driving licenses are required for all car/bike rentals. Cars are all late-model and in excellent condition, but no cars are available with automatic transmission, though some have power steering and air conditioning. Generally, the roads are excellent (though narrow and winding), and driving is done on the righthand side. Seatbelts are required, and crash helmets are the law (as well as a good idea!) for motorbikes. Small scooters are no longer available on the island, and you must have a motorbike license (for 80cc or larger). Smart cars include full insurance, but for all other cars, standard insurance is third-party. A full insurance supplement is available (from €8 per day) on selected models.
Eating out is moderately priced (€7 to €10 for lunch/€10 to €15 for dinner, on average). Food is fresh, traditionally prepared and very healthy (if sometimes a little heavy on the oil). Fresh fish is an island specialty, but expensive.
Film for your camera is readily available, but slightly expensive. Same-day developing is done on Tinos, but the quality cannot be guaranteed. Camera repairs cannot be made on the island.
Guidebooks to Greece (such as FROMMERS, FODORS, THE LONELY PLANET and THE ROUGH GUIDE) can be purchased from a bookshop in your country or taken on-loan from a public library.
Hospital facilities are not available on Tinos, except for the National Healthcare Clinic that can handle minor illnesses and injuries. Serious problems are treated at the hospital on nearby Syros or referred to Athens. In addition to the clinic, there are numerous physicians and dentists practicing on the island.
Immunizations are not necessary for travel to Greece. Mosquito repellant is helpful, and the supermarkets sell a clever device that plugs into any wall socket and keeps mosquitoes and flies away while sleeping. All water on the island is safe to drink, but the town water is highly chlorinated in the summer, and you might prefer to drink bottled water.
Java (as in coffee) is available in several forms. The traditional Greek/Turkish coffee is available everywhere. All hotels and restaurants also serve instant coffee, and fresh-brewed has caught on just about everywhere. Also popular and refreshing is a form of iced instant coffee called frappe.
Kiosks are tiny booths located throughout town that sell cigarettes, candy, film, water, soft drinks, etc. (but not newspapers). They are usually open from early morning ‘til late at night. All of them sell telephone cards for use in the public phones. Coin phones no longer exist, but the telephone card is accepted throughout Greece and is needed to access your AT&T operator. Long distance calls can also be made, and faxes sent, from the main office of the telephone company (OTE).
Language is always a challenge! Most shops, restaurants, and hotels have English-speaking personnel, but it's always appreciated when you make the effort to speak the local language. Foreign language newspapers and magazines are sold at the news shops, and Windmills has a free paperback book exchange on Tinos!
Money exchange is done at the six local banks situated along the waterfront in the center of town. The currency is the Euro (€), and the exchange rate fluctuates throughout the year. For shopping, you can use cash, traveler’s checks and credit cards, but many merchants who honor credit cards charge an extra 5% on your purchase. It's always cheaper to use cash. Cash advances against your credit cards can be made at the local banks, and all banks now have cash machines (don't forget your PIN number). Banks are open Monday thru Thursday, 08:30 - 14:30, and on Friday, 08:30 - 14:00.
Nightlife is abundant on Tinos, offering a wide-range of music, foreign and Greek. Bars open late in the evening and close around 03:00.
Off-island excursions are possible to Delos/Mykonos, Syros, Paros, Naxos and Andros. These are day-trips by ferryboat, with same-day return. More distant islands, such as Santorini, require more than one day.
Pack clothing and personal belongings sparingly. You will not find help carrying your luggage through airports or on and off ferryboats, unless you use our transfer service. Backpacks are practical and leave your hands free.
Quiet time in Greece (the siesta) is usually between the hours of three and six in the afternoon. Most shops close around 14:00 and reopen at 18:00. Tavernas and restaurants close by 15:00 and reopen for dinner at 19:00, though the locals tend to eat much later.
Razors, hairdryers and other small appliances use 220 volts in Greece. If your appliances do not convert to this current, bring an adapter.
Schedules and times in Greece are based on the 24-hour clock, i.e., one o'clock in the afternoon is 13:00. Weights, measures and distances are Metric.
Time difference between New York and Athens is 7 hours. The country calling code for Greece is +30; and the island code for Tinos is 22830. Even local calls now require the use of the island code. If you wish to reach our office during your stay, you must dial 22830-23398 (for emergencies 6936-709112).
Unless you are renting a house with a washing machine, bring clothing that is easily hand-washed. Tinos does not have a self-service laundromat, and professional dry cleaning is a bit expensive. All apartments and villas rented on Tinos through Windmills Travel include a change of linens and general cleaning at least every fourth day, many more often than that. If the owner comes to clean and finds someone napping in the apartment, they will not enter and do the cleaning. You must make the apartment available to them, according to their schedule. Otherwise, only fresh linens will be left outside the door, and you will be left to do your own cleaning.
Visas are not necessary for EU citizens, Americans or Canadians to enter the country (all others, please check with the local Greek consulate in your country); but a valid passport is required for all non-EU citizens. Greek law provides for a three-month stay before a visa is required. All major countries have embassies or consulates in Athens should you lose your passport or need other assistance.
Weather in Greece is temperate not tropical. Spring can be cool, with an occasional shower. Wildflowers are in abundance, and the island is quite green. July and August are hot and dry, but kept cool by a sometimes-brisk north wind. September and October are variable months, and a brief rain shower is possible.
Xcept for any special prescription drugs you may be taking, most general drugs and medications are readily available at local pharmacies. Supplies for contact lenses are sold here, and an Optician is on the island for eyeglass repairs.
You may need assistance in communicating with the owner of your accommodation, or you may encounter a small problem or misunderstanding during your stay. If that is the case, you must contact Windmills Travel immediately, so that the matter can be corrected or straightened out without delay. Do not wait until the end of your holiday to inform us.
Zebras are horse-like African mammals having a white body covered in dark stripes. They do not exist on Tinos, but snakes do. If you plan to do any serious hiking off the beaten path, bring along a sturdy pair of hiking boots.